USCIS announced on November 14, 2017, that the cap of 33,000 H-2B non-agricultural seasonal work visas for the first half of FY2018 (Oct. 1, 2017-Sept. 30, 2018) has been reached. Petitions subject to the cap with employment start dates prior to April 1, 2018 will be returned to the petitioners. Cap exempt petitions will still be accepted, as will petitions for H-2B visas for seasonal employment that will begin after April 1, 2018.
H-2B visas are used particularly in Maine’s seasonal hospitality sector. A one-time 15,000 bump in the number of available H-2B visas created by Congress to respond to the shortage of H-2B visas during the second half of FY 2017 expired on September 30, 2017.
Maine employers who want details about which workers are cap-exempt, or who want to check the number of H-2B visa petitions already accepted that count towards the 33,000 visa cap for the second half of FY 2018 (April 1 – Sept. 30, 2018) can check here.